Are Deal Sites Really That Great Of A Deal?

You have surely heard of the many Social Discount sites that have been popping up all over the Internet. GrouponSocial Buy, Living Social and Dealster are just a few of the many group discount sites out there. These sites offer rock bottom pricing on great deals around your city if enough people take advantage of the offer. This can mean savings of anywhere between 50-90% off of the actual retail price. It sounds great, but are these deals really too good to be true?

How Do They Work?

If you haven’t used these sites before, basically you will receive a daily email letting you know what the deal of the day is. The deals change each day and can be anything from food, to beauty treatments to products. The featured company generally has a write up explaining the deal and showing the regular price for the item. Each deal requires a certain number of purchasers, so if you want your deal, it is a good idea to spread the word. The deal is then purchased and can be redeemed at a future point for savings. But, what’s the catch?

What’s The Catch?

In reality, there isn’t one. Businesses get huge amounts of exposure and you can get some really great deals on a bunch of useful products and services. In fact, you might even find that these deals can help you afford a few luxuries that you would be unable to purchase otherwise. As far as personal finance is concerned however, you do need to keep a few things in mind to make the most of these sites.

Don’t Buy Things You Aren’t Going to Use

Remember a deal is only a great deal if you actually use it. If it goes unused, it is simply a waste of money, no matter how cheap. If you see a great price on a 30 day membership to the gym and purchase it, you had better go to the gym to make the purchase worth the money. Don’t let your purchased deals and vouchers go to waste. If you use these sites, make sure that you redeem your purchases every time. Often there are terms and conditions associated with each purchase, make sure you read these before finalizing the deal to make sure that you really are getting a bargain.

Don’t Buy Things You Don’t Need

Similar to the don’t buy things you won’t use advice is don’t buy things you don’t need or can’t afford. Remember you are on a budget. If you are out of money, don’t use your credit card to charge a deal even if it seems impossible to pass up. You can find low prices, but you can also end up spending a fortune on neat things that you can’t afford. Determine how much you can spend each month and stop when you hit your limit. It is a good idea not to visit these sites if you don’t have money. It is easier to not see the deal than to pass it up.

Take advantage of the many money saving opportunities that the Internet provides. Just remember that you have to use your judgment even if something is a great deal, you might not need it.

Do you use deal sites? Did you have a good experience?

Financial Freedom

The Easiest Way To Do Taxes With Online Income


I went over this same product awhile ago when I talked about how I used it for my personal budget. At that point I was using it for the wrong purpose, this time I’m going to talk about how to use it for you online business. is the best, easiest, and most automated online accounting program I’ve ever used. It will automatically categorize your expenses based on where the purchase was made. It also gives you the chance to re-categorize either just that one expense or all of the expenses that match. And of course you can create your own categories.

It’s so easy to get everything organized.

When you first login to look over your expenditures it shows you a graph of the last 3 months expenditures and if you’re in the red or not. I love that, I can tell if I’m spending too much as soon as I get there.

On the left side it has 3 spots, 1 for your accounts, 1 for the money you need to collect, and 1 for the money you owe. It’s really a great overview of your business and it’s all on the first page.

Honestly, the best part about the whole program is that it automatically does the calculations for how much your quarterly taxes are, as well as yearly. Sweet! It even breaks down all of your expenses to make filing taxes a breeze.

It’s so simple and has a very clean interface. I highly recommend it for anyone with an online business that wants to make figuring out your taxes so much easier.

It used to be free but they just recently switched over to a monthly payment. Luckily I’m grandfathered in so I don’t have to start paying until next year (It’s good to be a grandfather :) ).

Anyways, it’s still well worth the $9.95 a month and I will pay that as soon as it’s my time.

They even offer a free 30 day trial so that you can see what it’s all about.

I couldn’t recommend it any more highly. It’s such a great product and I’d probably pay $25 a month for it, so it’s a steal.

Try Outright for Free

Ps I do get a couple of bucks for you signing up but I’d recommend it either way. This is just a plus :)

Have you used Outright before? What did you think of it?

What program do you use to keep track of your accounting?


Money Management

Budget Your Wardrobe and Add to Your Savings

If your current main goal is to take control of your finances and trim your debt you already know the importance of a budget for your monthly income. The problem many encounter is with unexpected expenses. While this usually brings to mind vehicles breaking down or a sudden illness, there are other kinds of expense that pop up regularly. Holidays and birthdays are two examples, and another one is something we all need but don’t always think of as an expense: clothing. Here are some tips to help you make clothing a part of your budget and still allow your savings to grow!

First of all, break it down. Take a rough inventory of each family member’s wardrobe and figure out what they’ll need in the next three, six, and 12 month period. This isn’t an exact science, but if you have kids you can probably estimate when they’ll outgrow or wear out their shoes and clothes. Teens and clothes are a whole different world, so if you have fashionistas in the family consider setting a clothing allowance.

Second of all, don’t impulse shop. Know what you want and need and make a list, and no matter how cute that pair of shoes is pass it by if they’re not on the list. You can be flexible here, because one of the best ways to save is to find clearance items. Just don’t buy things you don’t really need.

Third, shop smart. Don’t limit yourself to the stores you always shop at; look for online deals. Most major stores and brands such as American Apparel have their own website and you can take advantage of a full line of fashions, sizes, and colors instead of being limited to store choices.

Last of all, wait before you buy. Look for deals such as an American Apparel coupon to add to your savings. If you find something you need but the price is too high consider waiting a few weeks until the website updates their clearance sale. Clothing is extremely seasonal, so it’s only a matter of time before the next round of markdaowns. Once you learn their pricing schedule you can take advantage of the lower prices.

Money Management

4 Mistakes Made With Structured Settlements

If you have been awarded a structured settlement through divorce, a lottery winning, a legal suit or as a result of some other circumstance, good for you.  Structured settlements can be a nice little source of income and even take into account the person paying them – insomuch that they don’t have to pay everything up front.  If you need the cash from a structured settlement right now however, these payments that have been set up to take place through time, probably don’t suit your current needs. That’s where structured settlements fall short.  

There are companies however that will buy your structured settlement from you for a predetermined amount of money thereby possibly relieving your financial situation.  It is vital that you research the company to whom you sell your structured settlement. Here are a few things to avoid. 



 If you haven’t at some time in your life received the advice to ‘shop around’, you must have been living underneath a rock somewhere.  Surely your parents told you this and every financial advisor in the world says the same thing.  Never settle for the first offer… always, always shop around.  There are numerous companies out there willing to purchase your structured settlement.  Make sure you don’t go with the wrong one.



If you don’t need the entire lump sum right off the bat consider having the buyout company purchase only what you need right now, leaving the rest of the structured settlement as monthly payments.  This can provide you with extra money every month, until of course the final payment amount is met, that you wouldn’t have ordinarily had.  You’re basically only taking what you need and leaving the rest.  



Two things should be considered, at the very least, when having your structured settlement purchased.  Never do anything without a contract and don’t be rushed into anything.  Make sure that the contract is complete and applicable to your specific agreement.  Also, a company that is rushing you should set off all sorts of bells and whistles in your mental warning system. 



This is especially true if you get your lump sum all at once.  Blowing that money on something frivolous and short-lived is going to leave you with an empty pocket and possibly even more expenses than you had to begin with.  Don’t make the fatal mistake that many lottery winners have made. 

The right structured settlement purchasing company will let you know how long you will have to wait for your money.  These types of agreements usually find their way to you within 6 to 8 weeks after the agreement has been completed.  The company now takes over receipt of the structured payments, but you in return get a cash award all at one time.  

By using your favorite search engine and entering the words cash for annuity payments you should be able to find a company that can do this for you. What’s even nicer is if you can get all of the company that will find the best deal for you, since there is obviously more than one company out there involved in this type of transaction.  You want the best rates after all and the best deal.  You want a reputable company, not some fly by night Johnny-come-lately.  All of this said, remember to take care that you don’t fritter away this found money. 


6 Important Barcode Scanner Features You Need to Think About

barcode scannerThere are a lot of options to pick from when trying to find the barcode scanner that best fits your business. Considering the saturation of barcodes and barcode technology in general across most commercial and industrial fields today, it’s not surprising to see so many different choices and options to dig through. Picking the device that will work best with your business might seem daunting at first, but it’s actually not that difficult to distill your prime needs and significantly narrow down your scanner options.

So, before you even think of hitting the marketplace on the hunt for scanners, you need to sit back and consider what your business could use barcodes and their scanners for. While the final decision is yours, taking these six particular features into account can drastically help you in deciding what your business needs.


This is arguably the most important feature you think to think about. A barcode scanner’s symbology is simply a fancy term for the type of barcodes the scanner can read. There are a lot of separate barcode symbologies you can find in use today. Barcoding provides a list of well over 30 disparate code types. But wait! Before you despair of never being able to decipher all the nuances and differences between the myriad symbologies, you need to understand that all barcode types can be concentrated into two main categories (technically three according to barcoding, but stacked barcodes are not nearly as ubiquitous as the other two). Those categories are 1D and 2D. 1D codes are like the common UPC codes found on products everywhere, while 2D codes are like the QR code squares found on advertisements and the like.

If you use a 1D symbology, it doesn’t really matter what type of scanner you get as just about every type can read them. If you use a 2D code, however, you’ll need to find a more advanced 2D imager scanner.


While important when dealing with bulk scanning, the speed of a barcode scanner isn’t a top priority. It’s still important and should be taken into consideration when out shopping. Business Solutions states that scanners can have one of three scan engine types. These engines are responsible for the speed of scanning. There are laser, CCD, and imager scan engines. Laser engines scan the fastest but they are unable to scan 2D codes. Distance from the code can affect scan speed as well.


Like speed, size is one of the less important facets to think about when picking your scanner. However, it’s important to know that scanners come in a lot of different shapes and sizes. From the small, wireless scanner eCommerce vendor Shopify sells, to the large, fixed scanners found in big retail stores, the variety can be astounding.

Ease of Use

Training takes valuable time away from your business. Until your employees are properly trained, they are a drain on your businesses resources instead of being beneficial. When looking for a barcode scanner, you should definitely think about how easy the device you’re looking at is to learn. You don’t want a device that requires a great deal of practice on. Business Solutions suggests looking for a device that is ready to go and easy to use right out of the box.

Integration Capability

Unless you’re doing an entire overhaul of your business’s systems and software, you’ll want to make sure the scanner you’re buying is capable of working with your current point of sale software and any other programs you use in running your business. Make sure you carefully review your current systems and their requirements along with the requirements for the scanner and any barcode software you’re looking to get.


Connectivity is definitely up there in importance, and it’s actually somewhat related to integration. Your first decision regarding connectivity is whether you want to get wireless or wired scanners. Wired scanners can connect to PCs and other devices using USB, PS2, and other cable types. While wireless scanners can come with Bluetooth or radio transmission and reception capabilities. You might want to test the devices connectivity capabilities before purchasing. One of the most important reasons to get a barcode scanner that both integrates well with your current system and can reliably connect to your other devices is for the sake of real-time updates on inventory and other important data points.

Getting barcode scanners for your business is an excellent idea for a few reasons. For one, using scanners reduces the chance for human error in inventory counting and other mundane recordkeeping tasks by astronomical proportions. For another, centralizing all your product data and sales information into a single databank via barcodes makes multiple aspects of business life much easier to handle. Depending on the POS system you use, connecting a barcode scanner to it is an excellent way to gather data about consumer purchasing trends and sales figures right away, without any need for frustrating counting and figuring.